Well, in spite of my ambition to post everyday during NaBloPoMo, I missed yesterday. Truth be told, I was too busy stuffing my face with food and talking and oh yes, enjoying an 85 degree day. Actually, I was doing all of those things and spending quality time with one of my best friends and her lovely partner and their adorable son. So it really was a great weekend.
But seeing as this is a food blog, I need to tell you about a very delicious dinner that we had. The first night I was there, Karen took me to a real favorite of mine - Real Food Daily. This is a vegan mecca with two locations, and is a place where Karen and I have shared many delicious meals. Looking at the menu was a real challenge because it is huge and everything sounded incredible to me. It is very overwhelming to be a vegetarian and to be used to having one, and at the very most two, options in a restaurant - and then to suddenly have 20-30...well, it just made my head spin. I was craving something light and crunchy, so I opted for a salad which sounded great. Black beans, rice, salsa ranch dressing, guacamole, greens. What's not to love, right? I opted to add in some grilled tofu just for a little more protein which is a good thing because, in spite of how the salad sounded, it was really just a salad. Lots of lettuce and very little of everything else. I even stopped the waitress because I thought she had brought me the wrong one but no, I just mis-ordered. If the tofu hadn't been in there, I would have left the restaurant hungry. Oh well.
Last night was a very different affair. We went to Nancy Silverton's Pizzeria Mozza where there is a one month waiting list for tables. Karen and Kerry knew the inside scoop and we arrived there right at 5pm and were able to sneak three seats at the pizza bar. I had a similar menu coma to the previous night, although not everything was vegetarian - it just all sounded so damn good! They have about 15 pizzas on offer and enough various other salads and appetizers to make me glad I was there with two friends. I won't bore you with the play by play - I'll just give you the highlights.
White Bean Bruschetta - I have made many a white bean dip in my day but this one was a wonder. I don't know if they just let it spin forever in the food processor or added a lot more olive oil than I do, but the texture was exquisite. Totally melt in your mouth and perfectly seasoned. They had made a little well right in the middle of each toast and poured in about a 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil and exquisite balsamic vinegar, so in addition to the creamyness of the beans, there was the silky oil and the bite of the vinegar. Awesome! Plus they got the texture of the bread just right - crunch enough but easy to bite through. Something I have not yet perfected.
Pizza - It's a pizza joint so the pizza should be good, right? Was it ever. The crust was crisp and airy at the same time with lots of air pockets and a perfect sprinkling of salt so that getting to the end of each piece was actually the best part. We ordered a white pizza and one with brocoli rabe and olives. I am actually not a huge cheese fan, so I was a little worried about the white pizza, but it was finished with such a light hand that it was actually my favorite of the two we ordered. I loved the bitterness of the brocoli rabe contrasted with the salty olives and the creamy cheese in the other. Suffice it to say that I ate too much pizza which is a shame because I didn't save enough room to gorge on...
Butterscotch Budino - I'm a little bit at a loss for words on this one. I think that Bon Appetit ran a recipe for this and I think it is her recipe. If so, I need to immediately have a dinner party so I can make it. It was, without question, one of the best restaurant desserts I have ever had. Think light butterscotch mousse topped with perfect caramel, creme fraiche and sea salt. It was a generous portion and I was so mad at myself that I could only manage two bites. Next time, I will have one slice of pizza and one budino all to myself.